THE growing popularity of the impromptu religious service on November 11 at the war memorial in Solihull has forced it to move inside St Alphege Church this year.
The service is a relatively recent development, albeit a revival of an older tradition, but over recent years it has grown rapidly in popularity to the extent that it cannot be held by the memorial without providing stewards and barriers, for health and safety reasons.
Father Tim Pilkington, rector of Solihull said: “It has been our custom to gather outside at the war memorial for a brief act of remembrance on November 11.
“Current legislation on health and safety now means that we can no longer do this. The brief service will therefore be held this year in St Alphege Church and will include reading the names inscribed upon the war memorial.
“Whilst we regret having to implement this change, we are advised by various civic authorities involved in the enforcement of government legislation and we feel that we must implement these new arrangements.
“We hope that those who normally gather around the war memorial on November 11 will join us in church.”
The normal Remembrance Sunday service, which this year will take place on Sunday, November 14, will as usual take place at the war memorial.